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Rising stars maths

Discussion in 'Primary' started by teachers-pet, Jun 28, 2015.

  1. teachers-pet

    teachers-pet New commenter

    I am taking over as maths co-ordinator in September. I have a rep coming to talk about rising stars next week. Does anyone use the scheme? Is it well differentiated? Would be good to get some opinions from those who have used it. Thank you.
  2. It's a nightmare! Particularly maths - too many tests and far too hard. All the questions for each term, all abilities, seem to stem from the end of year statements at their most obtuse, so there is no 'Where should the child be in the autumn term?' just 'Are they able to achieve the end of year statements in the autumn term? Nope? Fail then.' The margins of error are too small - get two questions wrong out of (I think, 12 ) and you are down a category. Have a look at the other forum thread on Rising Stars. I think they jumped too quickly to provide some assessment - we, unfortunately, jumped too quickly in with them.
  3. Andrew Jeffrey

    Andrew Jeffrey New commenter

    Here's my 2 penn'orth: the problem I see is that schools are crying out for something, so when a publisher says 'here's something', they understandably grasp it. However, the fixed nature of such an 'Autumn, Spring, Summer' approach appears to me to undermine the built-in freedom and flexibility that the new curriculum affords, as it is intended that work can be moved around within a key stage.

    I'm certainly not saying I have a better system, as all are in the same boat. I guess perhaps only the online providers have the flexibility needed to solve this, as a school could say "we want this moved from Y3 to Y4, and the software could re-jig the SoW. Seems like a potentially profitable (and genuinely helpful) approach.
  4. Hi Andrew, maybe it's down to my county but whilst some of the new curriculum is definitely key stage (e.g. geography), others such as literacy and maths are year specific. Also we have to track progress 3 times a year. We are all in the same boat but I hope a life boat comes along soon! :)
  5. Andrew Jeffrey

    Andrew Jeffrey New commenter

    Thanks campasme - apologies if my post was a bit unclear! I simply meant that in purely statutory terms, schools are free to make their own decisions about what time of year they teach particular topics, and even in which year they do so (as long as it is within a key stage).

    So Rising Stars, LAs etc cannot possibly know what each school will choose to do; I have nothing against Rising Stars themselves per se, just worrying that schools will end up teaching in the order that their purchased or imposed assessment says they should.

    As for tracking progress, I think I would tend to do this 6 times a year formally, and then informally on a continual basis.
  6. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

    We use Rising Stars but don't follow it slavishly. They have some excellent resources within the scheme and this is what we use. We looked at Abacus which was all singing all dancing and excellent if you wanted something to follow religiously.

    Our kids do ok on the tests.

    We also use other sources for activities and teaching.
  7. Apologies - I think my comprehension skills are not good! I am talking about the rising stars assessments, not the maths scheme, which I now see the original query was about. What we have is the Rising Stars assessment which purely assesses the children in reading, writing and maths 3 times a year. Guess I am an emerging reader!!
  8. Andrew, if you don't mind me asking, what are you using to track formally 6 times a year? Old levels, end of year statements in core subjects or your school's own? This is something we are struggling with since the end of levels.
  9. Andrew Jeffrey

    Andrew Jeffrey New commenter

    Don't mind at all - I am an independent maths advisor/consultant these days. My recommendation to the schools with whom I am working is to first decide when you will deliver the curriculum, then write six half-termly assessments per year group with simple, harder and out-of-context questions for each area, then keep them the same year on year to star to build a picture of how progression is happening.

    I used to use something similar when leading maths in my past life, and it worked well - we built up a really accurate picture over time. We used old levels and bought something that came with a spreadsheet, but these days I would definitely write our own. Happy to talk to you in more detail if that would help at all.
  10. It costs a fortune for what you get and I find the test results to be inaccurate. Have a look at 'Professor Assessor' instead which automatically marks your tests online and then feeds them onto the tracker, with as many tests as you want to do. It's loads better!
  11. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    In over 6 years you have made 4 posts, all this week and all promoting the use of Professor Assessor software. Anyone of a suspicious nature might smell a rat!
  12. abacus1982

    abacus1982 Established commenter

    When planning write an assessment q for that objective and keep it. At the end of each half term use them to assess the learning. Think this is the route we will go down. Tried optional rising stars tests this year and didn't find them that useful
  13. michaelt1979

    michaelt1979 Occasional commenter

    Seems to be lots of confusion here about what is being discussed. Rising Stars offer a whole range of products, including assessments, but I think the OP was talking about their new "scheme".

    I don't think anybody will be using it yet as it's not fully published, so we can't offer much more information about its use in practice.
  14. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

    What we use is the new one.

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